Shipping Crate Trash to Treasure

There are few things I like more than a good challenge. You might recall the fire truck bed I made for the little dude a few months ago. The challenge there was to use materials I already had on hand or that I could acquire for free. I did have to buy paint and lights but all the wood, the bed springs, and the mattress came from either my wood shed, the garden, or the local buy nothing site. When I realized I'd have to buy paint and wanted to buy lights, I found some old clothes I could sell to raise money for those supplies so I still broke even.
I dream about participating in a show similar to Project Runway but for woodworking. They'd give weird materials and strange parameters and tell the contestants to create. YES PLEASE!!! I think there was something similar but we gave up cable so I'm all kinds of out of the loop now.
Anyway, without further ado, here's the latest project:
So here's the story.
I hated this:
Yes, that's our front door and yes, that's our living room. When you walk into our home, there you are, right in our living room and right where the kids play. In an attempt to contain the shoes, gloves, hats, coats, etc, I put this tall shelving unit with baskets next to the door. The kids and I each had baskets for our stuff and you can see how well that was working. This picture wasn't even taken on a particularly bad day, the shoe explosion was awful. I started dreaming of a better solution, a piece of furniture that could contain the mess. I drew out plans but then scrapped the idea because I didn't want to spend the money on the lumber I'd need.
Then someone listed this on our local Buy Nothing group page:
The owner of the box had ordered something from Russia that was shipped within this box so it was strong but had endured a bit of abuse along the way. The weird thing though, was that it was exactly the width I had determined my shoe storage bench should be. She asked us each to post what we would do with the box if she gifted it to us and while there were lots of great projects to consider, I think she appreciated that the dimensions were really close to what I was going to do and she picked me.
For the rest of the story and some tips on staining wood filler and glue, you'll have to check out my blog but here are a few teaser pictures.

Julie at Build, Sew, Reap
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

 1 comment
  • Ronnie Ronnie on Dec 22, 2014
    Awesome! This is why it is good to live near a port city (for me Portland) because shipping crates of all sizes come up free on CL. I love that your piece is so user friendly.